The Fix-It Man by Dimity Powell
Published by EK Books
We’ve all experienced loss in one way or another but for kids there inevitably comes that first time. The loss of someone close especially a parent changes their secure, warm world in an instant. Nothing will ever ever be the same again. Our instincts as parents are to protect, protect, protect but we can only protect and prepare them as best we can often times dealing with our own grief. Children must tread those precarious first steps through loss, we can walk alongside them, but we can’t truly know how they will process it.
In Dimity Powell’s and Nicky Johnson’s gorgeous new picture book, The Fix-It Man these ladies address loss in a sensitive and gentle way.
‘My Dad can fix anything. It’s what Dad’s do.’ the story begins. Mending kites with glue, hammering the dog house, fixing teapots and making cupcakes for sick Mama. But it doesn’t matter how good Dad is with his fix it’s he can’t fix Mama, no-one can.
Nicky’s inviting illustrations surrounded by lots of white give this story an added dimension. The picture depicting Mama’s passing is simply stunning. There is no text on this double page spread. There is no need for any. Nicky has captured loss and it’s immediate after effects poignantly.
The young girl, dealing with her grief, takes on an adult role in caring for her broken father but it is all too much. There are too many cracks and no amount of glue, sticky tape or hammering can fix him. Together they must heal each other’s wounds.
I adore the illustrations of dirty dishes in the sink and the father with his spilled tea. This says volumes and displays how humans can become broken and cracked.
This story will pull at the heart strings and prompt conversations otherwise hidden beneath broken hearts.
Knowing we can’t be with our child every second through their grief it is reassuring to know that these two ladies have created a warm hand to hold when we can’t be there.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Dimity Powell
Illustrator: Nicky Johnston
Title: The Fix-It Man
Publisher: EK Books
Published: March 2017